Friday, August 22, 2008

Poetry Friday -- Bees

Substitute oregano for morning glories and this could be a poem about my garden. I let the oregano in my raised beds go wild this summer and it has bloomed nonstop. It has not spent a minute of the summer without a swarm of these "pirates" in "pantaloons heavy with gold and sunlight."

Bees and Morning Glories

by John Ciardi

Morning glories, pale as a mist drying,
fade from the heat of the day, but already
hunchback bees in pirate pants and with peg-leg
hooks have found and are boarding them.

This could do for the sack of the imaginary
fleet. The raiders loot the galleons even as they
one by one vanish and leave still real
only what has been snatched out of the spell.

I’ve never seen bees more purposeful except
when the hive is threatened. They know
the good of it must be grabbed and hauled
before the whole feast wisps off.

They swarm in light and, fast, dive in,
then drone out, slow, their pantaloons heavy
with gold and sunlight.

(the rest is here)

Today's round up is at Read. Imagine. Talk.


  1. Wow. Bees as pantalooned pirates. Love it.

  2. Anonymous9:13 AM

    Wow... some really luscious lines in this poem! (Makes me almost sorry for destroying the hornet's nest under my daughters' slide yesterday... almost.)

  3. Oh, wow, this makes me miss my garden. For some insane reason, I actually PLANTED morning glories, which grow like benighted weeds -- I had them EVERYWHERE growing through the sweet potatoes and trying to climb up the corn. And the bees were EVERYWHERE.

    Pirates. Yes. That's what they are. I found white-butted bees here in the UK, and they are the COOLEST THING. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Anonymous9:38 AM

    Holy wow. Love "their pantaloons heavy
    with gold and sunlight."

    I've been researching pirates lately for an ABC book and also just got a new poetry picture book called Pirates (which is terrific!), so this fit right in. Great imagery. Thanks!

  5. Anonymous11:44 AM

    John Ciardi is amazing. Love, love, love the poem and its images. Thanks for posting it!

  6. Anonymous11:46 AM

    What wonderful imagery there!

  7. That is the lovliest view of pirates I've ever heard! My Rose of Sharon are just this way with the bees too...

  8. Anonymous10:17 PM

    The image of pirates is wonderful. Have you gotten Honeybee by Naomi Shihab Nye?


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